As sexually active women, we all need forms of birth control that fit our lifestyle. Whatever option you choose, no one form is considered 100% effective at preventing pregnancy, except for abstinence, but is that realistic? Since methods can fail (condoms break or pills get skipped), there is Plan B (emergency contraception). There are some things you should know about this method, and here are five things.
- Plan B is just two little pills that contain the hormone levonorgestrel. It's the same hormone found in regular birth control pills, just a stronger dose.
- The first pill should be taken within 72 hours after intercourse (within 24 hours is best), and the second pill is taken 12 hours later.
- Plan B is not RU-486, also known as the abortion pill. That means that taking it will only prevent a pregnancy that hasn't happened yet. Taking Plan B will NOT harm an implanted egg.
- Side effects of taking Plan B include nausea, abdominal pain (similar to period cramps), fatigue, headache, menstrual changes, dizziness, breast tenderness, vomiting, and diarrhea. Plan B affects everyone differently so it may bring on your period immediately, or you may just get it at your regular time. If your period is more than a week late, you should take a pregnancy test since Plan B is not 100% effective.
- Plan B is available over the counter in some states. Call your pharmacy to see if they have it. If you are sexually active and don't want to become pregnant anytime soon, (and aren't opposed to taking plan B), it's not a bad idea to keep a dose in your medicine cabinet just in case.
Fit's Tips: Plan B is for emergencies only and shouldn't take the place of your regular and consistent form of birth control. You should also know that Plan B does NOT protect you from STIs.